Shropshire Star

TNS boss hails professionalism

Craig Harrison has hailed the professionalism and will to win of The New Saints players as they attempt to complete the JD Cymru Premier season unbeaten.


Runaway champions Saints are 30 points clear of second-placed Connah’s Quay Nomads going into tomorrow’s final league game between the top two at Park Hall (2.15pm).

Saints have won 29 and drawn the other two of their 31 league games during a highly successful campaign in which they have found the net 115 times.

They will face Nomads once again the following Sunday, April 28, this time in the JD Welsh Cup final at Newport County’s Rodney Parade.

But for now the focus in firmly on tomorrow as Saints look to end their excellent league campaign on a high note.

“Obviously, you don’t start the season out thinking about that,” said head coach Harrison, reflecting on the position in which Saints find themselves, just one game away from going through a league season unbeaten.

“It’s a little bit like breaking world records and stuff like that.

“You look at the start of the season, you go, right okay, we need to make sure we win the league, the Welsh Cup, League, Challenge Cup, and then we prepare for Europe.

“It’s almost a side benefit of being in such great form, and the players have got to take all the credit for that.

“Their professionalism and their will to win and perform every week.

“We’ve got two more games left and they just need to keep that going between now and the end of the season, because as much as it might not seem there’s not an awful lot on the game on Sunday, obviously we’ve won the league, Connah’s Quay finished second, there’s pride, there’s professionalism, and there’s also for us, and for Connah’s Quay, there’s a position in the cup final the week after.

“Everyone wants to play in the cup final. The Welsh Cup final is a real prestigious event.

“We have got a strong squad. There will be, when everyone’s fit, players unfortunately left out, so it’s an opportunity for the players on Sunday to make sure they’re not going to be the ones left out the week after.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s final league game of the season, Harrison added: “Rightly so, Connah’s Quay have finished second in the league. They’ve been the second best team over the season and they’ve done really well.

“They’re a very, very tough team, well organised, got some very good players and it’s going to be a tough game. It always is against them.

“Obviously, the scoreline probably of the last three games probably says different to that, but I think the games have been a lot closer and they’re a lot better team than that.

“We definitely won’t be taking things lightly because we want to finish the season on a high with a victory and then go into the Welsh Cup final the week after.”